Tarot Card Comparisons: The Thoth Tarot-Key 14: ART & The B.O.T.A. Tarot-Key 14: Temperance
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Thoth Tarot & comparisons

Tarot Card Comparisons: The Thoth Tarot-Key 14: ART & The B.O.T.A. Tarot-Key 14: Temperance

The Tarot of Eli The Qabalistic Thoth Tarot- Key 14: ART.
The Art card, key 14, is a card illustrating Alchemy, in its purest form. What is problematic for most people is that they believe alchemy is an outdated or  ancient form of Chemistry. To an alchemist, chemistry is about dead things, while the Art of Alchemy is  creating'" living things"; because minerals and metals did not grow, they were consider excrement by the Fathers of Science. For the Alchemist, the problem then, was to elevate metal to vegetable, thus making metals alive. The robe of the Androgynous figure, is green as vegetation, symbolizing this alchemical allegory.
Studying the Art of Alchemy, is recommended if you are to understand the subtle meaning of the combination of opposites, and/or to get "living things" out of the dead.

The Thoth Key 14 Art card is the completion of the Lovers Key, Gemini, the divine twins.

Sagittarius is attributed to The Art card, and is the Zodiacal opposite of Gemini, and therefore in alchemical terms, "after a manner", at one with it. Sagittarius, is known as the Archer, so a primitive form of the goddess Diana "the Huntress"  and also a lunar goddess, is illustrated on the card. The connection between the Huntress and the Moon is illustrated in the shape of the bow on the figure's shoulders. You may have noted that this figure is depicted as having two heads which symbolizes the completed Hermetic Marriage of the Twins illustrated on the Lovers key 6, as the black and white figures are blended into one androgynous figure.

The Red Lion illustrated on the Lovers card, has become an enlarged White Lion and the White Eagle had become an enlarged Red Eagle. This illustrates a very advanced knowledge of Alchemy, where the Red Lion has exchanged His red blood for her white gluten (the theme of opposites counter-changing, continues as the Eagle turns red).

In alchemy, gluten is not of wheat, it is a very complicated scientific formula that takes a Chapter to explain which I have decided is too much for this blog to handle (it's long enough now) so if you are curious about alchemical gluten you are welcome to research it in any book on Alchemy. In Qabalah and Alchemy, the Gluten is called the first matter  (also Stone of the Eagle) and it is of water, but not of earth.

To further illustrate the equilibrium and counter-change of opposites, illustrated on the Lovers, key-6 the white woman has a black head depicted on the Art Card and the black King has a white head.  Again, showing opposites in communion, she wears a golden crown with a silver band, and he the silver crown with a golden fillet. Silver represents the Moon and Gold represents the Sun.

The white head on the right, is extended in action  by a white arm on the left which grasps a cup containing the white gluten. The black head on the left, is linked to the  black arm on the right, that holds a lance which becomes a torch pouring forth its fiery blood. Thus, the fire burns up the water and the water puts out the fire.  Yet again, illustrating the counter-change of opposites. This counter-changing of opposites can also be illustrated in our common lives by the marriage of opposites in husband and wife, and how after time, they both begin acting like the other. This in not unlike the alchemical distillation process, which is done by the slow process of time , as nature does it, rather than under the agitation of extreme heat, as modern chemists do it.

At the bottom of the Art card, water and fire are harmoniously mingled,  illustrating a crude concept of the Spiritual idea, which is the satisfaction of the desire of an incomplete element of one kind to satisfy its formula by assimilation of its equal and opposite.

The Art of this stage of the great work, is the mingling of opposites in a cauldron of the Sun (gold) which represents the Father of Life, and in particular, presides over distillation.
We know that the fertile earth is maintained by rain and sun. The process of rain is formed by a slow process of evaporation, which is carried on the air (which is itself a marriage of fire and water) and  engineered by the Sun. This also illustrates the formula for continued life, which is death or putrefaction which is represented on the cauldron as a Raven and Skull ( caput mortuum). In this card, the representation of the Alchemy of Life, the union of opposites, by the heat of the Fiery Passion of Spirit ( Will-To- Be) is stated over and over again. 
The crude symbol of fire and water mingled together, as shown  at the bottom of the Art card, represents the Spiritual idea of an incomplete element of one kind, reaching satisfaction by the assimilation of an equal and opposite. This  mixing of contradictory elements in a cauldron (the human body is known as the "Golden Cauldron"), as illustrated on this card and is known as a state of the Great Work. The Great Work is "As above, so Below" which is another way of saying," The Knowledge of the Above must be consciously enacted in the Below".
As seen resulting from the merging operation, is a stream of golden light arising, and becoming the two rainbows that form the cape of the Divine figure. This cape symbolizes the spiritualization of the Great Work. Let's face it, Life and the Living are the Divine' Art!  Dead things, though often worshiped by the ignorant, are not the Art of The Divine Living One....only the Alive are. To know this is to know that what is truly Sacred are the living beings, not man-made constructs!  Hence, to Worship a book, a building, a amulet, or a place and kill the living in its name, is indeed live spelled backwards! Therefore, "love thy neighbor as thyself" is indeed knowing what is sacred. But maybe I am being too harsh on the common man-made person, maybe they dislike themselves so much that they can only "dislike their neighbor as themselves! For instance, by feeling ugly inside they can see only ugly on the outside!

But let's continue;
The Art card represents the whole hidden quality of the Orphic Egg shown on the Lovers key 6; it is the same formula but in a  more advanced stage.  Here, the Original Duality (electric-male and magnetic- female- force) has been completely compensated; but after birth comes growth; after growth, puberty; after puberty, purification. This card then is a foreshadowing of the Great Work.

Around the Rainbow Solar Cape of the Divine Androgyny is an alchemical Latin glory; VISITA INTERIORA TERRAE RECTIFICANDO INVENIES OCCULTUM LAPIDEM. [ "Visit the interior parts of earth; by rectification thou shalt find the hidden stone."]  The initials of this glory are, V.I.T.R.I.O.L, which is known in alchemy as the "Universal Solvent". You'll have to look this up, too much info for this blog;However, vitriol is also called the "Universal Medicine" which is sometimes a stone (Philosopher's stone) , a powder or a tincture, according to ancient writings.

It is because the Alchemists were dealing with substances on the "borderland" of matter that makes them difficult to understand. This can be found also in Physics, where Quantum physics is involved with describing the "Quanta" which is the "borderland" of matter, in modern science. The Alchemist knew/knows, that the difference between living things and dead things, is their behavior. The Vitriol, mentioned in alchemy, is a combination of Mercury, Sulfur and Salt but in a higher-living nature rather than the vulgar nature of chemistry. In fact, the word Rectificando implies the right leading of the new substance in the path of the True Will.  As a Magi, I have experienced the "right leading of a new substance" known as "a material body" by the True Will of Spirit as it has began flowing through the body as a "personal operator"...it does change the material of your body into something much more Solar....just ask any successful Tantric! (Something to find out for yourself!). Tantra, is the Gnosis of combining the True Female and the True Male forces to make the "above and below, one and the same"! Alchemy, Qabalah, Tantra, are all Gnosis.
 To become a powerful seer of Tarot, a practitioner must open up to the Greater Energy Conscious, that is at certain states of force and form as symbolize by the circles (Sephiroth) and the paths of experience that lead to them on the Qabalistic Tree of Life.

-Key 14.

  • The Path of Samekh, leads from Yesod (Foundation) to Tiphareth ( Beauty); from the Moon to the Sun, from the Personality to the Higher Self.
  • Primary color of Path: Blue
  • Musical Note: G#
  • Astrological Sign: Sagittarius
  • Meaning of Samekh: PROP
  • Hebrew Simple letter: Anger
  • Esoteric title: The Daughter of the Reconcilers, the Bringer Forth of Life.

Paul Foster Case wrote in the book :
Thirty Two Paths Of Wisdom: "The twenty-fifth Path is the Intelligence of Probation, or is Tentative, and is so called because it is the primary temptation, by which the Creator trieth all righteous persons."

Behind the symbolically of  Key-14 Temperance, is the Great Mother- Binah, for this reason the central figure of this card is the form of female (but also showing Androgen figuring because there is no life with out the Motion of the Great Father-Chokmah). Also the Twenty-fifth Path is that of Sagittarius, the Archer who is Diana the Huntress, Greek Goddess of the Moon. Thus the principle is repeated that all of the figures of the Tarot (Except THE FOOL) are Mother-Binah (understanding) and Father Chokmah ( Wisdom) under different guises.

Binah, as Diana, governs the tides of earth, and the fluctuations of the Astral Current, the natural framework and support for the waxing and waning of the energy  currents of existence (Vitriol).  She is the PROP; the " Womb preserving Life". There is only One Energy, One Mind, and/or One Universal Collective Self, that can't be created nor destroyed, only transformed. It's transformation is done by the waxing and waning of currents/forces, all controlled by Binah (Shown as Alchemy on the Card) who is the "Will to Form".

Therefore, the manifested Universe is energy controlled and manipulated within specific bounds and restrictions of which the "mysteries" represented by the Cards and Paths of The Tarot and Tree of Life are shown as progressive knowledge, discernment and understanding achieved by the initiate.

Hariette and Horner Curtis, in their book, Voice of Isis, describe the Universal Mother as the "power of bringing forth in humanity the Divine Child (Horus) or the Christ". It is that power, in which every individual brings about the contact of the Personality with the Inner Divine Light.

When one's conscious is rising on the Path of Samekh, it (Temperance) leads to our bearing of the Child, which is ourselves reborn (the expanding and liberating of the Personality from previous limitations).

Key-14 is the beginning of an awareness of the Higher Self of Tiphareth. This card demonstrates how the experience is brought about, i.e. through a balanced exchange of opposites which can only be symbolically described as a androgynous figure. This is a difficult process in the individual student and is often the beginning of "The Dark Night of the Soul" where the Personality is brought into the Willful interchange of Fire (glandular excrement) and Water (blood) that is merging or tempering of energy polarity opposites within the body. On the Art card this tempering is symbolized by a stream of water poured forth from one vase and lightning from another. This is the Living Water and/or consciousness vivified by being merged with the Fiery Spirit. Hence, forming, a process of bringing Spirit into the body so that it tempers the consciousness, and is itself tempered by the consciousness and body, forming something that is "more than the sum of its parts".

This merging/tempering process also involves an inner manipulation of sexual polarities, as symbolized by the arrow released upward (on bottom of card) which is a Spiritual orgasm (orgasm/energy flow that never stops) . What happens is the awakening of the Inner and outer Androgyny, i.e. the Dancing God and Goddess ( Best illustrated as Shiva and Shakti of Hindu origin) whose dance of union makes all form and motion possible.

As one changes the rate of vibration of this inner energy, one raises or lowers the level of consciousness; moves from Chakra to Chakra or from Path to Path. The watery consciousness being acted upon by Fire (Kundalini Sex energy) produces the images of the astral which are the pictures that form in our minds. Therefore the principle is  one of producing a consciously-controlled vision that is limited by Will. This is the personal application of Fire (Yod) and Water (Heh) uniting in the individual to produce Air (Vau) within the body which is Earth (Heh-final).
 At first, many students find the symbolism of the Thoth Major Arcana  complicated; However, the principle of the Path of Samekh or Art, is to produce a consciously controlled vision that is limited by will. 

The purpose of Hermetic Qabalistic, and Gnostic symbols is to furnish descriptions that most anyone can relate to. They are not remote or really complicated, if you focus on one at a time. In fact most of the symbolic language of the Mysteries, has been superseded by the language of Carl Jung and other psychologists. To Carl Jung, this ability to consciously control Visions, would be called "lucid dreaming", which is known to help the individual correct personality disorders.

Robert Wang goes on to explain, in his test book: THE QABALISTIC TAROT," It should be added that the Metals described in Alchemical literature are the same as the Seven Chakras of the Hindus, the Seven Planets and the Serphiroth of the Microprosopus [lower seven on the Tree of Life.]. These words have been used as codes over the centuries, meaning seven distinct levels of objective consciousness. Thus when one speaks of a Planet ruling a sign of the Zodiac, what is meant in the relationship of a Sign to a given center of energy both in the Greater Universe and in the Human body." (the brackets are my own explanation).

The Art of awakening these Psycho-dynamic energy Paths in the Human Body, is the Qabalistic initiates goal. "To Know Thyself", is to know the "As above and so below" nature of our Whole Self.

The Art Card, is the sign of Sagittarius, which is ruled by the planet Jupiter, meaning the Sephiroth- Chesed (Wisdom). Here, we should remember that Chesed is the architect of all manifestation, working with the "will to form"and/or "potential to form" of Binah (Understanding).

As explained before, Art-Key 14- The Path of Samekh, is an actual physical process, and a arcana for centuries of  Gnostic, Mystics, Tantric yogis, Alchemists, and Qabalists, and is a willed process of directing the communion or interchange of opposite energies. The beginning of this process is begun by the Higher Self; a process which is instituted  in the Sephiroth Chesed, the most refined, point of  Microprosopus, to which the Higher Self is central.

Chesed the 4th Sephira-Mercy, is the enacting force (phallus) of the Great Mother Binah (the third Sephira-Understanding), process of  "will to form" (womb) expressing/birthing its Understanding into the "first matter".

Until the initiate accomplices this psycho-physical process of the Path of Samekh, the Higher Self (Shown as an androgynous figure on the card) cannot be known to the personality.

Thus the Art of "Spiritual Alchemy" describes this Card and the whole process as a preparation of the Personality, and its physical vehicle, to deal with the Solar Forces (influx of Light) which would devastate a "normal" system.

This is an ongoing process of tempering, measuring and testing, instigated by the Higher Self, to see how much the physical body can bear. When properly tempered, and the body can handle the stress of such energy, the arrow is released (Kundalini rises).

Once contacted on the Path of Samekh, the Higher Self will regulate the flow, so the individual isn't harmed; a great jolt of energy, will tell the individual to "back off', and relax.  Because this is a Passion so overwhelming, it is often described as Divine Anger, which is apt if we realize that anger is for self-motivation; to get off of one's butt and do something. It could be said that Divine Anger is the motivation for Sagittarius to launch his arrow.

All in all, the Art Card key 14, is the consummation of the Divine Marriage, depicted on the Lovers card, Key 6, here the Orgasm of Spirit has been reached.  There is a perfect interchange of forces, as the Red Lion has become white, and the White lion has become Red.The Art card shows Water being poured on Fire, and Fire is merged with Water, all within the purified physical vehicle, shown as the Golden Cauldron, i.e. the Master's body. Get and read the Text Book, The Qabalistic Tarot by Robert Wang and the Book of Thoth by Aleister Crowley for further explanation of this coded process.

Associations and/or Correspondences:
" Because every yin has its yang, every trump in the Major Arcana has a companion card.  The Tarot represents archetypes, and archetypes are perceived by us to be symmetries of like-form and motion.
Normally, we either perceive something as motion or form, and rarely do we perceive something to be both simultaneously. In the Major Arcana one card represents the archetype's form while the other card represents the archetype's motion."
------Jana Riley<Tarot Dictionary and Compendium>

Correspondences (Thoth Deck): Key 10-Wheel of Fortune & key 14-Art (Temperance on other decks). Ritual magick is enhanced by the Corresponding forces and forms represented on these cards.

  • In the Thoth Deck, Temperance is called Art and represents the art of Alchemy and/or the combining of opposites to create balance.
  • The Astrological sign: Art --Sagittarius
  • Astrological Planet: Wheel of Fortune--Jupiter.
  •  The Astrological form of Art: I perceive.
  • The astrological motion of the Wheel of Fortune: I seek,therefore I am.
  • Rune-stones: Art (Temperance)- Raido, communication, union, reunion, and journeys; means "to read, to interpret."
  • Rune-stones: Wheel of Fortune- Inguz, completion, release, and sharing; the hero.
  • Primary Colors: Blue; (secondary colors, royal blue, deep blue, bright blue, powder blue, sky blue)
  • Chakra: Throat Chakra (5th Chakra) governing expression, communication, creativity, mantras, media, inspiration,  self-expression, speech, sound, devotion, spiritual expression, faith,  religious inspiration.
  • Stones and minerals: Sapphire, sodalite, lapis lazuli, bornite (peacock copper), abalone, blue fluorites, and chalcedonies.
  • Musical notes: Art- G#.  Wheel of Fortune-A#
  • Hebrew Qaballah letters: Art- Simple letter--Anger. Wheel of Fortune-Double letter-Riches-Poverty
  • Path for Art: Samekh, The Intelligence of Probation. The Path of the Wheel of Fortune- Kaph, The Intelligence of Conciliation.
  • Symbol of Meaning: Art-Prop.  Wheel of Fortune- Fist
  • Plant essences: Art- Hyssop, Bergamot, Angelica
  •                        Wheel of Fortune: Cedar, Nutmeg, Clove.

  1. Magic Abilities (psychic frequency of energy): Telepathy which is the ability to communicate across time/space without the uses of the mundane five senses.
  2. Also preque vu, the feeling of sensing something which has not yet happened, but will. The opposite of deja vu .

In the Art card, Spirit that is Female polarity of energy(magnetic) and That is Male polarity of energy (electric) are combined as Androgyny, who is our Holy Guardian Angel. According to C G. Jung, spirit appears female to males and male to females. Here we have Spirit as the Alchemist, the Homeopath, pouring the liquid of life ("milk of the Virgin") from the silver urn into the golden urn, never losing a drop of life in the transformation from life to death, i.e. the transition of soul to its spirit.
The Wheel of Fortune is shown as the Karmic wheel of life; The Motion association to the Form of the Art card. Fortune comes from the Latin fortuna, meaning, chance, fate, luck and destiny. The word Wheel comes from the Greek kyklos, meaning cycle and wheel.  All life is shaped of a spiral (spirit means "spiral entity") which modern scientists have now confirmed.  The Wheel of Fortune is from November 22nd to December 20th, and the Northern peoples of Europe celebrated a holiday in December called Yule,in honor of cycles, circles, and spirals of life. Yule comes from the Gaelic gule, meaning Wheel. 
The Temperance Card of the B.O.T.A.  Tarot,  is attributed to the Intelligence of Probation or Trial. This refers to the testing a neophyte must go through to reach the heights of initiation. Here is a test of tempering, to determine the aspirants temper or strength.

Therefore, temperance refers to making a proper balanced mixture; and equilibrium of, for the initiate must be properly balanced in all their vehicles (Body, Mind and Soul).  By choosing the middle path of balanced opposites, the aspirant is no longer subjected to extremes. Therefore, we see that Higher Self with one foot in "The Divine Flowing conscious"/flowing stream of consciousness and one foot on dry land, and/ or the material world; firmly balanced in both "worlds".

The Rainbow, on this card, represents the differentiation of light by means of Water. The Androgynous Angel, shown here wearing the symbol of solar energy on its brow, is symbolic of the Higher Self ("Secret Lover").

Dr. Paul Foster Cases states that the Seven pointed star, worn on the Angels breast, represents the work of man because to draw the non-geometric figure  measuring requires tools.

The fire of the torch, in the shape of yods (fiery spirit), is falling on the eagle, who is the symbol for water. Water falls from the vase onto the Lion symbol for Sun/Fire.  Therefore, we have represented the union of opposite forces from opposite directions.

The twin mountain peaks represent Chokmah-Wisdom and Binah-Understanding (the Twins of Creation), while the crown above them symbolizes Primal will.

When the Art card is thrown during a reading, the querent is experiencing or will soon experience:

  • A blending of all circumstances in order to achieve balance.
  •   A combination of forces effecting realization and action.
  • Trials and tribulations that lead to the "middle path", arriving at a profound realization.
  • Realization
  • Action of combining opposites to create something new.
  • Effect.
  •  It means the combination of forces causing realization.
  • It is about material action, for wellness or illness, depending on the dignity of the accompanying cards.
  •  It is a blending of all circumstances in order to create a balance; such as the blending of issues, of  a  spiritual,emotional, mental and physical nature and thus effecting a flow of directed energy in its most powerful state.
  • The Art card implies the Principle of Synergy, Synthesis and Integration.,i.e. the "middle way". 
  • The Art Card also suggests the grounding of energy through spiritual education.
  •  Assimilating, integrating, tempering, adjusting, and redistribution.
  •  This card represents a Spiritual Force joining the Divine Androgyny, with the "fleshy" rendition of Itself.
  • When thrown, a great spiritual alchemy is in process for the querent.

Thank you for your interest, comments and supportive donations. May you live long and prosper!

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